Question: All winter I did one-leg pedaling drills indoors on my trainer. I think they helped and I’d like to continue training this way outdoors. Is it recommended? — Benny P.
Coach Fred Matheny Replies: One-leg pedaling is a great way to increase power and smooth your stroke. It’s best done indoors because it’s safer and you can concentrate fully on the exercise. But outdoors works, too. Here are four tips.
- To increase safety, use a lightly traveled road without traffic control devices or intersections. Keep speed down by riding up a slight grade or into a headwind.
- Indoors, one-leg drills are done by unclipping a foot and supporting it on a chair or on the trainer’s frame. Outdoors, hold your foot out to the side, far enough from the bike that you don’t get hit with the free pedal. As you fatigue this becomes more difficult, so be careful.
- Keep your head up. When you get tired and are concentrating on turning circles with one leg, you’llbe tempted to look down. That’s fine on a trainer but not on the road. Keep your eyes up for safety.
- Be ready to confuse people. Once when I was training this way, a non-riding friend who was driving by stopped to ask if I needed help. He thought I’d had a mechanical problem and was struggling to get home.